previous next
[22] Another topic is derived from things which are thought to happen but are incredible, because it would never have been thought so, if they had not happened or almost happened. And further, these things are even more likely to be true; for we only believe in that which is, or that which is probable: if then a thing is incredible and not probable, it will be true; for it is not because it is probable and credible that we think it true.1 Thus, Androcles2 of Pitthus, speaking against the law, being shouted at when he said “the laws need a law to correct them,” went on, “and fishes need salt, although it is neither probable nor credible that they should, being brought up in brine; similarly, pressed olives need oil, although it is incredible that what produces oil should itself need oil.”

1 The argument is: we accept either that which really is, or that which is probable; if then a statement is made which is incredible and improbable, we assume that it would not have been made, unless it was true.

2 Athenian demagogue and opponent of Alcibiades, for whose banishment he was chiefly responsible. When the Four Hundred were set up, he was put to death. Pitthus was an Athenian deme or parish.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (E. M. Cope, 1877)
load focus Greek (W. D. Ross, 1959)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: